Monday, March 12, 2007

Medical exams for dossier and home study tips

Some advice on your medical exam... Wait until you choose your agency or independent social worker (if your state law allows) before having your medical exams done. Two reasons for this 1) some agencies or SW's will have their own forms they want the doctor to fill out for their files and you can save yourself a trip if you wait until you have that form before you do your exam for your dossier (yes, these are separate things). 2) If you need to do an update or addendum to your home study later in the adoption the medical exam and blood tests usually expire in one year (this seems to be common policy with most agencies). It may save you lots of time and money down the road to NOT rush to get the Medical exam done before starting the home study process. Some home study agencies require your children currently living with you to have exams and blood tests as well, and some do not. This is a question that you may want to know to ask when deciding on an agency/SW. You do not need to include a health exam for your children in your dossier (again, unless your orphanage specifically requests it).

Here is what is required for your dossier:

Health certificate/letter from your doctor and results from your HIV, Syphilis, and TB (also referred to as PPD) testing for each adopting parent. If you or your Doctor needs any help, or more details about what to write, here is an example of ours (again encourage your doctor to keep it short and to the point as you will have to have this translated into French later). Make sure the letter is written on your doctor's letterhead. Here is ours:


RE: Your name here
DOB: Your date of birth here

To Whom It May Concern,

(Your name here) has been a patient of mine here since __________. She has recently come in for a complete exam. I found no physical abnormalities. She had a negative PPD. She also had a negative HIV screen as well as a negative syphilis blood test. I see no physical or emotional reasons for her not to be an adoptive parent.

Please contact me with any other questions.


Your DR.'s signature here
Doctors name, MD
Name of Clinic or Hospital

This letter is for your dossier but a copy of it may be requested for your home study as well. Also, ask for a copy of the actual blood test and PPD/TB results and include these with your dossier. The letter from your doctor needs to be notarized but the blood test result pages do not (unless your agency or orphanage requests otherwise). Most doctor's offices have a notary which really helps. If they do not- please see my notary tips post for advice.

Huge money/time/frustration saving advice: Many people have run into the problem of having their exam done by a nurse practitioner, or someone other then an MD. This WILL be rejected by your home study AND for your dossier. Make absolutely sure the exam is done and the letter is signed by an MD and an MD only!! So many people have run into this problem (myself included when I had my children's done) and it can be a big hastle.

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